What is HMB?
β-Hydroxy-β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) is a metabolite of l-leucine (an essential amino acid). HMB has been used as an ergogenic substance (i.e., something that supports improved sports performance) for more than 20 years, with most of the research focused on supporting muscle performance.
Benefits of HMB
Our interest in HMB for Qualia Life was because muscle ages poorly. As we get older, muscle size, strength, and performance decline. This can occur even if we continue to exercise. Part of the reason muscles age poorly appears to be related to HMB.
L-leucine, like other amino acids, is found in protein-containing foods. The body converts about 5% of dietary l-leucine into HMB. While the amount of HMB we make will vary depending on how much l-leucine is in the diet, on average, a healthy young adult will make about 300 mg of HMB a day. But the ability to make HMB has been reported to decrease with age. This means we might not be able to make enough HMB to meet our metabolic needs as we get older. This could explain why in studies supplementing with HMB has helped muscle age better.*
The ability to make HMB has been reported to decrease with age.
While we think helping muscles age more gracefully is enough of a reason to include a modest amount of HMB, when we were researching it we discovered it had a few other features that made an even stronger case for inclusion. HMB has increased ATP (the cellular energy molecule), enhanced AMPK (a metabolic master switch), upregulated mitochondrial fitness, and supported better insulin signaling.* These are important goals of the formula.
The last feature of HMB is more speculative, but some experiments have suggested that certain compounds might work better at lower doses when combined with HMB. Resveratrol and creatine, which are important ingredients in the formulation, appear to be two compounds that work additively with HMB.
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